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Old 07-28-2018, 05:47 PM   #181
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Fate is the Hunter. Yes Ernest you got it Correct.

I worked in Malaysia with a pilot named Kurt. Kurt was always a top producer in tons of fertilizer spread each day. He was better than me and that’s okay.
One day Kurt and I were working off the same airstrip. Kurt said he enjoyed working with me. I was slow and steady. I had set an easy going pace. I didn’t tell him I was going my very very fastest and I really doubt he could have made better time.
One day in high winds and takeoff down wind we couldn’t make over the trees and one was compelled to fly between some with only about 15 feet clearance from the left wing tip. The wind was on our tail plus a 150 degree turn to the left was required. Difficult and hard work and bordering on dangerous. That evening I expressed my regret in continuing in such poor conditions. Kurt didn’t think it was dangerous at all. He was quite comfortable.So he said.
Well Kurt liked the money and the job was well payed. He was too hungry to stop for a quick meal whilst the aeroplane was being refuelled. About 2 in the avo one gets sleepy especially if one hadn’t eaten or had a cat nap. The same went for Kurt too. He nodded off . Through the palms he headed. About 30 yards pulled him up.Minus wings. They were 30 yards back.
The contract finished in the year 2000 and Kurt headed back to New Zealand where he was ranked as one of the top guns.
Sadly Kurt doesn’t need to stop anymore for breakfast or to refuel.


Now that's not denigrating the dead. It is fact written with a purpose for others and pilots who will get to read this in another publication. Kurt is not the correct name of the pilot. The picture here is of Gary and not Kurt. Later on in the week I will speak about fatalities of agricultural pilots who were work mates or I knew well.
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:26 PM   #182
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This is continuing on accidents.

Pilot Deaths.

These are agricultural pilot deaths I write of, for that is the industry in which I have spent my working life.

There has been many ag pilot deaths and I reckon more than 25 have been friends or workmates. Two of them I have employed and I am pleased none have died whilst working for me.

What has been the cause? Not one thing in particular but here are some.

Not building in a safety margin. Plus trying to be just too slick. Complacency occurs when apilot gets too familiar and confident. This generally wears off about 4 or 5thousand hours.

Wire strikes. Killed quite a few. Some got away with it. Not looking properly prior to starting, relaxing when completed and getting caught on the headlands, not paying attention or being pre-occupied with one wire and thus over looking others.

Failure to become airborne. Loaded to heavily and or failure to dump (i.e. jettison load).

Inexperience. Sadly. An experienced pilot will see a difficulty before it arises. Inexperienced pilots will not recognise it until they are in it.

Greed. Some have pushed on in unsuitable conditions simply for the money.

Failure of an engine or airframe component. There’s three that I personally knew and I expect there more. Fortunately is rare these days.

Fuel starvation during aerobatic manoeuvres because fuel is thrown to the outer of fuel tanks where the fuel pump can’t access it. Or maybe simply loss of control in an aerobatic manoeuvre.

Lost controlon takeoff or landing. Mostly ag planes are tail wheeled. Control takes more attention than it does with nose wheels. It catches inexperienced pilots.

Sadly grief and memories of pilots is for ever lasting.

All of us have paid for our flying lessons and professional development. I am not aware of any military or government sponsored pilots in my working life time. Ag pilots contribute to the growing, protection of food and fibre crops and also health protection. We are not high profile as are military and airline pilots.





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Old 07-29-2018, 05:39 PM   #183
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Ok model a story for the day. I am looking at a 1931 roadster for a reasonable price. So I ask to see the title and verify the "s/n" or VIN if you will. The engine has an unreadable stamping with no sign of the stars or any letters. The owner claims this is Grandpa and Grandma's car which he inherited and knows very little early history. One strange thing I noticed is it has a Briggs body plaque mounted above the Ford plaque. I was under the impression Briggs did not make any roadster bodies per my research on MAFCA. Any way the VIN is the same number that is on the Briggs plaque, 35774444. Another little bugaboo is the current title, issued on 5/2018 lists the year as 32'. The fenders are missing and the car has been poorly converted to tube shocks. My first inclination is to "run forrest run". What say you. Mike
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Old 07-29-2018, 05:50 PM   #184
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This is continuing on accidents.

Pilot Deaths.

These are agricultural pilot deaths I write of, for that is the industry in which I have spent my working life.

There has been many ag pilot deaths and I reckon more than 25 have been friends or workmates. Two of them I have employed and I am pleased none have died whilst working for me.

What has been the cause? Not one thing in particular but here are some.

Not building in a safety margin. Plus trying to be just too slick. Complacency occurs when apilot gets too familiar and confident. This generally wears off about 4 or 5thousand hours.

Wire strikes. Killed quite a few. Some got away with it. Not looking properly prior to starting, relaxing when completed and getting caught on the headlands, not paying attention or being pre-occupied with one wire and thus over looking others.

Failure to become airborne. Loaded to heavily and or failure to dump (i.e. jettison load).

Inexperience. Sadly. An experienced pilot will see a difficulty before it arises. Inexperienced pilots will not recognise it until they are in it.

Greed. Some have pushed on in unsuitable conditions simply for the money.

Failure of an engine or airframe component. Thereís three that I personally knew and I expect there more. Fortunately is rare these days.

Fuel starvation during aerobatic manoeuvres because fuel is thrown to the outer of fuel tanks where the fuel pump canít access it. Or maybe simply loss of control in an aerobatic manoeuvre.

Lost controlon takeoff or landing. Mostly ag planes are tail wheeled. Control takes more attention than it does with nose wheels. It catches inexperienced pilots.

Sadly grief and memories of pilots is for ever lasting.

All of us have paid for our flying lessons and professional development. I am not aware of any military or government sponsored pilots in my working life time. Ag pilots contribute to the growing, protection of food and fibre crops and also health protection. We are not high profile as are military and airline pilots.






Truly is sad. In southern Minnesota in the '60's, a family friend of my Mom ran a crop dusting company. His two teenage sons flew for him. One day one crashed(I don't remember the cause). The other son saw the crash and tried to land to help his brother, but he too crashed. Both sons gone, seconds apart!
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:23 PM   #185
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Ok model a story for the day. I am looking at a 1931 roadster for a reasonable price. So I ask to see the title and verify the "s/n" or VIN if you will. The engine has an unreadable stamping with no sign of the stars or any letters. The owner claims this is Grandpa and Grandma's car which he inherited and knows very little early history. One strange thing I noticed is it has a Briggs body plaque mounted above the Ford plaque. I was under the impression Briggs did not make any roadster bodies per my research on MAFCA. Any way the VIN is the same number that is on the Briggs plaque, 35774444. Another little bugaboo is the current title, issued on 5/2018 lists the year as 32'. The fenders are missing and the car has been poorly converted to tube shocks. My first inclination is to "run forrest run". What say you. Mike


Hello Mike. I'm not a great authority of mechanics including bodies. I best describe myself as "smitten by it's beauty", the A that is. There would be people who will answer your question straight off the top of their head without fear of contradiction and they are all helpful.
Please do note my signature, and as I had extended it (before deleting it) I did say that some think I know nothing.
It is well known by many, it is cheaper to purchase a restored car as compared to restoring it yourself or getting a professional to do it. Example in case, my Tourer (Phaeton) cost me 35K AUD to purchase and have restored. It's market value is about half.
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:26 PM   #186
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Truly is sad. In southern Minnesota in the '60's, a family friend of my Mom ran a crop dusting company. His two teenage sons flew for him. One day one crashed(I don't remember the cause). The other son saw the crash and tried to land to help his brother, but he too crashed. Both sons gone, seconds apart!

That was sad for me too. It made me weepy.
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:38 PM   #187
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Truly is sad. In southern Minnesota in the '60's, a family friend of my Mom ran a crop dusting company. His two teenage sons flew for him. One day one crashed(I don't remember the cause). The other son saw the crash and tried to land to help his brother, but he too crashed. Both sons gone, seconds apart!


I had a friend who was an operator in Williams California. His brother died in a crash viewed by his dad. My friend, Bob Caldwell was a 2 tour V.N. veteran and returned to the business. A very experienced pilot and very popular too. Made a big contribution to farming in his local area. He died of prostate. His dad saw that too.
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:40 PM   #188
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Fu24 fuel


The Fletcher is usually a single seater aeroplane but the one I did most of my time on was 2 seater. They are manufactured in New Zealand and make up all most the entire topdressing fleet. Mine (I say mine because I flew it, not owned it) was flown to Australia as a demonstration plane fitted out as dual control. Fuel gauges were the simple float type, one on each wing. Because this aeroplane was dual meant the pilot was offset to the left. Thus the right side gauge was not visible without climbing out of one’s seat. Left hand one okay. Even so they are not in the direction one is looking. The best management was to determine the time one would stop to refuel.

Fuel Starvation.

Ag planes are worked hard and ag strips are sometimes rough. It is unusual to find a really nice strip and if you do betcha the farmer owns an aeroplane. With the Fletcher we do an average of 70 landings and takeoffs each day. Sometimes something gives and needs repairs. On the day of this story it was the right hand fuel tank leaking badly. I removed it and took it to Tamworth for repair.It needed to be steam cleaned before welding for obvious reasons. I suspect the repair man tested for any remaining fuel vapour by throwing in a cigarette. Although that of course is not a naked flame. Well I refitted the tank next day and went back to work. About 70 minutes into the job the engine snuffed it. Now I wasn’t expecting that but fortune was on my side. I was just drawing abeam the airstrip. I dumped the remainder of the load and got just one bust of power which enabled me to do a 180 turn and straighten up on the strip. I made a successful landing. Inspection revealed the cork off a cigarette butt had completely covered the fuel outlet and thus fuel starvation from a full tank. Had the gauges been mounted on the dash I would have noticed one only drawing fuel.

Fuel Exhaustion.
Well I went to the job one windy day and decided not to work and returned home. Next day I went to work and I determined my refuelling time. I clean forgot I had flown it the previous day. Well what I am telling you is obvious isn’t it.


Again the picture is from the internet. The product being spread is lime. It looks spectacular doesn't it.






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Old 07-30-2018, 06:58 AM   #189
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do you remember Johnny Cash singing about constructing a Cadillac piece by piece. Well this ute was built out of multiple components. I'll do you a story about it. soon.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:05 AM   #190
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trying to enlarge pictures. I am getting help from readers but not succeeding.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:39 PM   #191
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Hey WOOFA.EXPRESS, I enjoyed your Model A story. Here is a rather long story about my first Model A. This was published in one of the Model A Magazines a few years ago and I updated it again a couple years ago. Now I have to get it running again so my Grandson and I can drive it 1800 miles to it's new home when he turns 16 in 2019. Really looking forward to that. Enjoy the read and maybe I'll send you another about my original 1931 Station Wagon with wood wheels. Dick Knapp


On the road again after 45 year rest... by Dick Knapp
This is my 1929 Business Coupe that I drove to High School in 1955. It was my Grandpa's only transportation for
many years and I remember riding home in this car to spend the weekend with he and Grandma. My Grandpa bought this car from Ward Winchester in Clintonville, Wisconsin sometime in the late 40's. I got the car in 1954. When sanding the doors to prepare for a new paint job I found a logo on the doors for The Commonwealth Telephone Company. Perhaps that was the telephone company in Clintonville in the late 30's. I kinda restored it ( I think you know what I mean) in 1964. I changed it to a Sport Coupe with a rumble seat. Then it was parked while we raised a family and moved around the country with the US Air Force. About 2008 I got serious about giving this car a good restoration and I decided that it had to go back to a Business Coupe.
Many old cars nuts have an interesting story and I hope that you enjoy this story about me and my 1929 Model A Business Coupe. It starts in the early 1950's. I grew up in a little town called Clintonville, not too far from Iola, Wisconsin. My car experiences started early when my Mom decided I needed something to do to keep me out of trouble over summer school vacations. She took me to the local JCís sign-up for the Soap Box Derby program as soon as I was eligible at age 10. After winning third place that first year I was hooked and went on to compete every year until I was fifteen. I won some races and always finished near the top, but never won the Green Bay regional event for the trip to Akron.
Actually, my experience as a developing gear head and old car nut started even earlier. My Dad had left our family when I was about eight or nine and both of my Grandpasís spent extra time with me, their oldest Grandson. My Grandpa in Clintonville had a full time wrecking business. He lived just across the street and had a small wrecking yard right behind our house. What a great place for a kid to play! My other Grandpa had a part time wrecking business in Bear Creek, so it is no wonder that I was developing a love for old cars.
When Grandpa got a call to pick up an old car, he would call me to go along in the wrecker. Iola,, Big Falls, Symco and Marion were places I remember going to often to haul a Model T, Model A or old Studebaker out of the weeds. If the car didnít have tires, the front end was winched up on to the back of the wrecker. Then the cable was run over the top to the back bumper. The car could be winched up off the ground, but of course the top was crushed with a big crease from the cable. When we would get back from these trips my Grandpa usually gave me a quarter with the advice that I should put it in the bank because I could get three percent interest on it.
Grandpa was anxious for me to learn how to drive that wrecker so I could be more help to him. My legs were not long enough to reach the pedals, so I would sit on his lap and steer while he worked the pedals and his big hand covered mine as he guided me through the gears on that four-speed. I eventually could reach the pedals by sitting on the front edge of the seat. That led to driving the wrecker around the bone yard helping move motors and cars here and there. The wrecker had a winch that was PTO driven. A lever in the floor engaged the winch. The transmission had to be in neutral and you had to let the clutch out to work the winch. I remember one incident very well with this winch. Grandpa unhooked the motor I just hauled and he hooked the loose cable to one of the boom supports. I drove off to pick up another motor not realizing that I had not taken the winch out of gear. The cable was tightening up and pulling the entire boom up and over, coming down soon to crush the cab. Grandpa saw what was happening and stopped me before a real disaster happened. He was not happy and Iím not sure, but I probably did not get my quarter that day.
At fifteen years old I was through racing Soap Box Derby cars, so I went to the local Ford garage to apply for a job. They hired me be to sweep floors, pump gas, wash and grease cars and stock shelves. What I wouldnít give now to go through some of those shelves of new old stock parts. One day someone traded in a 40 Ford convertible with a Columbia overdrive. I really wanted that car. I talked the salesman into letting me take it home to get Mom's approval (and financial support) to buy it. I took my Grandpa from Bear Creek and my Mom for a ride, but they were not too impressed. They didnít think that a 16 year old needed a hot V-8 convertible. So, they came up with a plan. Mom would buy Grandpa a mid 40ís Studebaker and Grandpa would give me his Model A Business coupe. Well, that is what happened and this Model A became my wheels through High School in 1955. It was stored through our early years of marriage and in the mid-60's I restored it as best as I knew how. I put about 1500 miles on it and we decided that a Model A sedan would be better with our three small children. So, this Model A was stored and would not see the road again for 45 years. In 2010, after a two- year restoration, the finished restoration picture was taken on my first test drive. I sent this article and a picture to Old Cars magazine and it made the cover and featured article for that month. This soon became my favorite ride. We took it to my 55th class reunion in Clintonville in September, 2010.
I think my Grandpa would be pleased to know that I plan to continue the tradition and give this car to Preston, my oldest Grandson. He is 14 now and this car will be his if he wants it when he turns sixteen (I am hoping that he does not plan to put a hot V-8 in it). I am also hoping that together we can drive it to California in 2019 and hoping that his Dad will sell some Mustangs to make room for another great car.

It's been nearly 4 months since this article was written. I've gone back and re read it. What a wonderful upbringing Mr Knapp had. What a great article Mr Knapp.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:17 PM   #192
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Engine Failures in Agcat aeroplane.


I had a cat that had gone down several times.Once with Hugh McIntosh who had never had a forced landing before. Then he took off again and in 30 sec she quit again. The rest of us who flew it had been down several times before but not poor Hugh.

There is sometimes confusion in the assembly of an ag cat. The fuel tanks cross to a vent line and if these are assembled incorrectly the vent can be wrongly coupled with the opposite vent and thus the fuel tank to the other fuel tank. In other words, no venting. Well after exhaustive testing I was convinced this was not the case.However in desperation I vented the tanks straight out the top. No more trouble. Lost probably 2 gals of gas each time we refuelled but no more problems. Never did figure out what the problem was but since the trouble stopped it didnít really matter any more.

We had another engine that continually quit. Funny thing. It would give about 20 seconds notice by moving in the mount. The time allowed one to position for the inevitable forced landing. Even more odd was after landing one would taxi to the end of the paddock and takeoff to resume ops again.

Well as you might expect we were all a bit nervous about this engine, so we simply changed it.

Good old reliable Eric Noonan reported pinched mag leads. It looks likely that I had changed the mag (and I was good and quickat doing this) and pinched the leads in clamping up the mag covers. Silly thing was if myself or any other pilot experiencing this had done a mag check, one would have found it flew good on just one. One could have resumed then by switching back to both. You know we all did learn this at flying school years before. I spose at ground level we were most interested in having a successful forced landing.
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Old 07-30-2018, 06:09 PM   #193
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My story starts on April 14th 1928 the day my Great Grandfather picked up his new tudor sedan. He bought it in our hometown of Madison Indiana at the Madison Car and Tractor Co. for
$573.39. He used this car on the farm taking produce to town to sell and hauling feed back home for their livestock. He also built a trailer using an old Essex front axle to haul livestock
to town to sell. He also sold and installed Windpower Generators and Delco Light Plants. Needless to say this car has seen a lot of use.
After WWII he ordered a new ford and when it finally came in the dealership sold it to someone that came in and offered more money. This made my Great Grandfather mad so he told them he had a good car and he would just keep driving it. My father who had lived with his Grandparents from the age of 8 drove this car to high school and it is pictured in his 1953 yearbook with a Caption that says 20 years from now he would be the editor of a major newspaper and still driving Old Henry.
When his Grandfather passed away in 1958 My Dad purchased the car from his Grandmother and gave the car a new paint job and new interior. I was born in 1961 and have a lot of great memories of riding in parades and going on sunday drives. This car was just part of the family.
About 5 years ago I started a complete frame off restoration and now the car looks showroom new once again. We entered the car in our local car show this past year and it was a proud moment when my 7 year old grandson went up to receive the trophy that was taller than he was
and handed it to his Great Grandfather. We took a picture at the show of My Dad, Me, my Son, and my Grandson, which will be the progression of future ownership. It makes me proud when my Daughter in law tells me that my Grandkids (ages 3,5 and 7) spot a Model A and they know exactly what it is.
My next project is the trailer that that my Great Grandpa built just after he bought the car. I hope to take them both to the next car show and would love to find a Delco light plant to display in the trailer.

Jeff

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Old 07-30-2018, 08:11 PM   #194
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My story starts on April 14th 1928 the day my Great Grandfather picked up his new tudor sedan. He bought it in our hometown of Madison Indiana at the Madison Car and Tractor Co. for
$573.39. He used this car on the farm taking produce to town to sell and hauling feed back home for their livestock. He also built a trailer using an old Essex front axle to haul livestock
to town to sell. He also sold and installed Windpower Generators and Delco Light Plants. Needless to say this car has seen a lot of use.
After WWII he ordered a new ford and when it finally came in the dealership sold it to someone that came in and offered more money. This made my Great Grandfather mad so he told them he had a good car and he would just keep driving it. My father who had lived with his Grandparents from the age of 8 drove this car to high school and it is pictured in his 1953 yearbook with a Caption that says 20 years from now he would be the editor of a major newspaper and still driving Old Henry.
When his Grandfather passed away in 1958 My Dad purchased the car from his Grandmother and gave the car a new paint job and new interior. I was born in 1961 and have a lot of great memories of riding in parades and going on sunday drives. This car was just part of the family.
About 5 years ago I started a complete frame off restoration and now the car looks showroom new once again. We entered the car in our local car show this past year and it was a proud moment when my 7 year old grandson went up to receive the trophy that was taller than he was
and handed it to his Great Grandfather. We took a picture at the show of My Dad, Me, my Son, and my Grandson, which will be the progression of future ownership. It makes me proud when my Daughter in law tells me that my Grandkids (ages 3,5 and 7) spot a Model A and they know exactly what it is.
My next project is the trailer that that my Great Grandpa built just after he bought the car. I hope to take them both to the next car show and would love to find a Delco light plant to display in the trailer.

Jeff

Now that's a great story Jeffo. One family since manufacture. A rarity. Do post a photo of it under this story. Post many photos of it. Good on you mate. gary
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Old 07-31-2018, 03:45 PM   #195
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Working Mossman.
There are two Mossmanís in Australia, one is an upmarket suburb in Sydney and the other is in far north Queensland. It is the later where I worked and where I speak of now. A tropical location north of Cairns. I worked in Mossman in January and February each year, spraying sugar cane to control weeds which grew rapidly up the cane and over the canopy pulling it down. The herbicides we used were estercides of 24D and245T. One had to take considerable care because of neighbouring susceptible crops and a tropical areas have very susceptible plants. It was difficult work. And rain. I will always remember 84 inches of rain in 3 days. The hotel where I stayed had a tin roof so one never endeavoured to talk. It would be fair to say the majority of farmers were Italian whose parents and grandparents were formally cane cutters. Those were the days when immigrants worked where as today they just get welfare and the rest of us just get mad.
The old farmers houses still stand although dilapidated but yet occupied. Free loaders that cultivate their own crop between the rows of cane. And they hate spray planes. Cane is obviously not susceptible to herbicides and their plants are. Very.
Much of the cane to the south of Mossman was located in the Cairns Airtraffic Control area. As I was working well below the quite high hills I never bothered to get an airways clearance from Cairns. But it didnít take them long to find out I had violated their airspace. These deserted house dwellers, lets call them AP for alternative people, called Cairns tower to complain about the aeroplane working around their houses. Of course Cairns knew immediately I was in their airspace without a clearance.
Next year I was granted a blanket clearance to work there.When I finished I called Cairns to cancel my clearance and asked how many complaints they received. ďnoneĒ they said.
I mentioned this to my farmer agent, Ron Veri and Ron saidďforgot to tell you Gary the cops cleaned them out. More than 15 in jailĒ
One AP waved a rifle at me. I told the cops and they went and took the bolt from his rifle. I asked ďdo I assume the rifle has no bolt or is it another rifleĒ. I thought they were a bit weak.
I used to spray estercides along the Daintree river. (Mossman). Today it would be me in jail. Itís populated, many AP, houses and tourists.Many people donít like food production and they donít have appreciation of farmers. They have open hostility to crop sprayers. Yet they enjoy eating.
Ten miles away was a small costal community called Port Douglass. A backwater. It has turned into a large resort and it seems as if Australians have just discovered it. It is expensive, up market and nauseating.Isnít it a shame when developers step in a trash small communities.
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:16 AM   #196
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

I once employed a bloke who I will call Dick. A former poultry farmer whose marriage broke down and he found himself a new young chick.
With this new young bride installed it was difficult for Dick to keep his mind on the job. He would be loading away from base but forget to take a fuel hose, or tool box or wetting agent or the chemical. Frequently late for work. I renamed him ‘Frank’ as in Frank Spencer from ‘some mothers do have them’ . He was loading Terry Walsh, a pilot who came to help me in the rice season. Terry was walking around the Beaver repeatedly saying, ‘where’s Dick. She used to collect eggs (on Dick’s dad’s poultry farm) and she is still collecting his eggs’. An error a day was Dick. I fired him and gave him an excellent reference. A local seed breeder phoned and asked if he was just half as good as my reference. Bugger.
Well,as a bloke I liked the man. When ever I needed a hand Dick just happened to drive in and he’d help. He would be back on the pay roll. Then I’d fire him again, then he’d be back on the payroll. My lovely book keeper said, ‘gary, you swore you’d never hire him again.’
Well last time I fired him, again with an excellent reference he applied to Barters, a large poultry farmer at Griffith. they called me and I lied to them, told them he was excellent and I'd be sorry to see him go. Well then they asked why was he leaving so I had to lie again. I have one driver too many and Dick was last on so it is fair that he has to be the one to go. And I don't like telling lies. But as I said I did like Dick but couldn't stand his inefficiencies.
I told Dick he would be an excellent chook farmer and he asked why I said that. ‘because everyone has to be good at something’ I replied.
Well he was. Infact still is. Now on his third young chick and happy. Still a likable fellow and has worked for Barters now over 30 years. Still collecting eggs and so is his third young chick.
This picture below is of Dick dressed in fancy clothes and of Dick loading into my plane.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:43 AM   #197
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

It's in the way it is said.

A story about my candid or undiplomatic demeanour as compared to that of my loader driver’s.
In the early 80’s I spread a rather large paddock with urea. A conola crop. Driving my loader was a bloke by the name of John McNaught. John worked hard loading 50kg bags into the bucket then the aeroplane hopper. The turn around times were quick. John fairly sweated and never kept me waiting.
A semi arrived with another 35 ton and the driver was impatient to unload. He told me so. I responded by saying he wouldn’t be getting away before 4pm. Well that made him most unhappy. He approached John and John told him “we’ll do our very best”. Well that made him happy. Not happy enough to help John lift these bags, but he was happy.
He departed after 4pm but was happy.
Today Gary is an old cropduster partly broken down and John owns 35 trucks, all B doubles.
The loader photo was shot about early eighties and the B double just one of 35. It is an online shot and yes it is John's.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:22 AM   #198
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Summer 1990. Big fires.

Fires are always devastating, heart breaking and costly. The big loss of course is of life both in people and live stock. This is no matter where on earth fires occur.

I always enjoyed working on fires for the pleasure it gave me in helping people. Farmers had water trailers, pumps and hoses to fight. I knew all these fellows in my local area because I worked for most of them. I would not take payment and neither did they working on other properties. They would always be grateful and some wrote to me expressing so. I regret not keeping those letters. I once got a statement of gratitude on the front page of a state weekly.


One summer day the atmosphere was crisp, temp high and wind high. It was clear we were in for trouble. Yes the phone rang. Help please. Jerilderie area was out of control. I sent Dennis in the tanker to load me. The wind was so strong it was difficult to control the aeroplane. It took maybe 3 minutes to take on a load. In that time the fuel in the carburettor boiled and when I opened the throttle the only thing that happened was yellow flame and black smoke would flow from the exhaust for about 8 seconds before cool fuel would fill the carby and the engine would power up. I worked nearly all avo and made the fire manageable and the farmers were able to extinguish it. I was pleased when it was over and I headed home.



But I didn’t get home. The town of Tocumwal has called and they need help. Another fire, started by campers over the river had jumped in 15 (if I recall) places. What were little fires quickly became big fires in these high winds. Ran down the railway next to where I now live. These were now too extensive for me to control so I advised and directed the crews where to head. There must have been 25 fire engines with crews. Some had come great distances. The wind abated about dark and fires were travelling slowly now. It was after 11 at night when it was under control and I departed. It actually looked spectacular in the dark.

Many thousands of sheep were lost in the Jerilderie fire which was moving about 30mph across the grass lands. Losses less at Tocumwal although some houses were lost. Irrigation channels confined the fire somewhat.


Since that time I have flown for the state fire authority but did not enjoy that. Bureaucracy and stupidity and egos ran those. Priority was not extinguishing the fire. Perhaps South Australia is exempt of the above statement.

This little fellow is a Koala or native bear. He or she is posing on my back gate post. They are decimated in fire.
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Old 08-04-2018, 02:45 PM   #199
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Officer Brigg’s Hound Dog.

The picture at the bottom is my friend Pat with his truck that I can’t identify. With wooden spoked wheels I guess it’s mid to late 20’s and some of you readers would know. it would be good if you came back with an answer.
The little town of Finley, 12 miles north of where I live now in Tocumwal, had an anniversary which included a street parade of old vehicles. This is Pat with his entrant.The local highway cop pulled him up to check on the legalities and Pat was okay because he had a permit for that day. Never the less the cop whose name was Brigg read the riot act to him. Now Brigg was infact Pat’s neighbour and was despised in the street. Despised in the town. Despised in other nearby towns infact despised in every place he showed his face. He was just a nuisance in the community.


He had a pet dog. I doubt if even the dog liked him. There are interstate truckies in our town and my friend arranged for one to transport him north to the town of Dubbo and tip it out there. About a seven hour drive . If the dog was microchipped, as required by law, Brigg would have had both expense and inconvenience. If not chipped I hope dog would have found a better owner.

Did it change Briggs attitude. No, of course it didn’t. He remained Brigg.
When issued a new highway patrol car Brigg took it to an outback road and rolled it. He was demoted. Did that slow him down. No.
My friend Colin was issued a ticket by Brigg. He was carting hay and straw hanging out of the bales exceeded the max width. Most people simply pay the fine but Colin went to court to fight the charge. The magistrate asked how many are here today with a summons from Brigg.
“12 your honour.”
I’m tired of that man, all 12 dismissed.
Well, that left Brigg without authority. I’m not sure if for that reason the man was transferred to Tumut. Stories drifted back of his nuisance and stupidity.



It's a bit like the story of the anus stretcher isn't it. If you haven't heard it, it won't be me who tells it to you.
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:30 AM   #200
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Good Luck Some Time.

Peter Kerr was a farmer and my appointed agent at Oaklands NSW. Peter did an excellent job and had plenty of bullshit to match his outward personality. He would come to the plane just to chat to me and the farmers who just might be standing around. Peter loved that.

One day about dinner time he drove in. We were using a stubble paddock as an airstrip. I landed and Peter walked over and suggested I shut down.

As he pulled up in his Toyota ute he saw the oil drain plug fall out followed by a slick of oil. We followed the oil trail back,picked up the bung, screwed it back, checked the oil which was still nearly full and I continued work. Wasnít that luck. To have it spotted and not loose it in time for all the oil to be lost.
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